Guest Post by Jillian Petrova
The sales team is an integral part of any organization. The basic share of profit for a business is brought in by the sales team which is crucial for the success of any business.
When starting a new business, you are likely handling all the operations by yourself — from setting the strategies to supervising the infrastructure. After some time, you need to have an efficient team of individuals that you can fall back on for your day-to-day selling activities.
Considering the critical role of the sales team, it is important that you put in the time and effort to hire the right team for the job. But if you aren’t sure where to begin, let us help you with the following tips:
10 Steps to Build a Sales Team from the Ground Up
1. Look Around For Help
Before starting an aggressive search for the right candidates, consider looking around for some help in this regard. At times referrals turn out to be the best source of finding good employees. Ask your friends, ex-coworkers and whoever else you think can help you with the search.
2. If You Are a Newbie, Do the Research
If you have no previous experience with building a sales team, consider seeking expert help from different resources. There are multiple books available that can give you an idea of how you can start building an efficient sales team.
“Predictable Revenue” by Aaron Ross is one good example of a book in the “sales” space that you can read to acquire insightful knowledge about building a sales team.
3. Make the Most of the Personal Interview
When you spread the word that you are looking for salespeople, you will likely get tons of applicants. But if you want to hire the best talent, you need to have the right set of questions to ask in the personal interview.
Ask Yourself: “Is this person coachable?” – There are a lot of people who think on the basis of their past sales experience, no matter how much things have changed. To tell the truth, these are the kind of people you might want to avoid since they will likely resort to outdated methods that don’t work any longer.
Ask Your Candidate: “Sell me this pen or bottle of water” – This is the most effective and quickest way to evaluate the selling skills of a potential candidate. Be vigilant of the important indicators, can they think on their toes, can they improvise and how good are they with head-on challenges.
Ask Your Candidate: “Share any story from the time where you demonstrated an entrepreneurial flair.” – This will give you an idea about how efficient are they to win major plus points.
4. Knowledge Vs. Experience
This is an important aspect that you need to look out for in salespeople. It is always a safer bet to hire an individual who has less experience in sales but knows a product far better than the others.
5. Fire as Fast as You Can
The hiring process is tricky and you might end up hiring the wrong person for a job. Once you realize it, you should not take much time to rectify your mistake. People say that “time is money” but I say “time is a deal killer”.
6. Gear Up Your Team With the Right Tools
To make sure that your team succeeds, it is necessary to use certain tools to keep everyone working in an efficient manner. Some of them are:
7. Metrics Are Important to Hold People Accountable
It is very important to establish KPIs that the entire team understands and follows. This way you can ask your team to send you a daily or weekly summary of their sales stats. This way, you will be able to keep tabs on the performance of your team and pinpoint any loopholes in a timely manner.
8. Assign a Ramp Up Period
Give your salespeople a target date to ramp up to their quota. This will give them a structured timeframe and expectations can be set accordingly.
Will it be a commission-based job or will you give a base salary?
This is the question that every salesperson asks at the time of hiring. Is it feasible to pay a base salary or is a commission-based model that gives a strong incentive to the worker to bring in more deals, the better option for you?
10. Ensure Effective Communication with the Team
Your job does not end after the hiring process ends. In fact, you need to communicate daily with your team in order to ensure a smooth working relationship. When the entire team communicates on the daily basis, you will be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your sales team. Here are some of the simple ways you can communicate with your team:
- Send emails to your team every day
- Conduct team meetings on weekly basis
- Get weekly/monthly summaries of sales
- Ask what their biggest opportunities they are working on in the morning and in the afternoon ask about the hurdles that they faced
11. Training Sessions Will Make Your Team Stronger
To keep your team competitive in the market, you need to keep them up-to-date with the latest trends and technology. You need to keep them educated on the current practices every now and then.
When you put time and efforts into the training of your team, they will be more than happy to learn new things and will give their best shot to increase sales. Here are some of the ways you can train your staff:
- Roleplaying – This is the standard way of training in many organizations. A trainee is put in a real life scenario in which the trainer provides the feedback later.
- Call Shadowing – Trainees will listen to real calls and learn from them.
- Screencasts – Just like the tutorial resources, it is used for team members to watch tips on how to pitch products, make use of tools and how to use different selling techniques.
- Books – There are multiple books that can be distributed among the team to increase their knowledge.
Building a sales team is quite a challenge. Unless you have the right approach to hiring and set a strategy, you will likely struggle with building a winning sales team. Consider these tips to help with this important job.
Jillian Petrova is a Sales Manager at a private firm and runs a blog. In addition, she is an employee of coursework spot that provides academic writing & consultancy services to students. In her blog, she frequently writes articles on sales, marketing, blogging and social media management.